Dan Greenawalt made it official yesterday: Turn 10 is beginning the process for its next game, presumably Forza Motorsport 8.
The Forza creative director sat down with Brian Ekberg, Chris Esaki, and other members of the Turn 10 team yesterday for the latest episode of Forza Monthly. The show covered a lot on the current games — FM7 and FH4, more on both later — but perhaps the most tantalizing news came from Greenawalt himself. After a short talk on the creative process at Turn 10, he confirmed that the team is beginning to move on to what’s next:
“What we’re saying very specifically is that Forza Motorsport 7 has had a strong amount of support from the team, and we’re going to be shifting our weight. So there’s still updates to come: you heard about Forza Race Regulations, and we’re going to be going out with a private and then public beta and then rolling that out. You know, we’re not done with esports, that’s an exciting part to us as well so we’re going to be doing updates on that in the future. And of course we’re going to be doing other updates to the game. But the weight of the team is shifting over to our next project. So we’re getting into that concept phase.”
Specifically mentioning the concept phase, Greenawalt lends credence to the idea that a Forza title isn’t coming in 2019. What that means, if anything, about the seeming Forza Street leak last week is unclear.
With rumors of multiple next-gen Xboxes at E3 2019 swirling, this development makes quite a lot of sense. Turn 10 launched Forza Motorsport 5 alongside the current Xbox One way back in 2013. Releasing a new game in the twilight year of the console doesn’t seem as valuable as using one of Microsoft’s strongest first-party studios to potentially have another generational launch title.
Perhaps even more intriguing, Greenawalt touched on the team’s different approach to development this go-round:
“Now in the past, that concept phase would be kind of subterranean. We’d kind of do it with ourselves, we’d work with our dev partners, and you know, we’d bounce our concepts off ourselves. But we’re going to be doing it differently this time. We want to do it in public. We want to do it with our fans. Does that mean early rollouts? I don’t know. And that’s really what it comes down to: I don’t know.
“But the big news is the team is transitioning its weight. We’re moving our weight over to this new project we’re working on and we’re doing it in a new way. We can listen to the team, open conduit, we want our players to go to Discord, get involved with us, to really be part of this process with us, to make their voice heard. And we, together, will shape the future of automotive entertainment.”
Involving the community at the concept phase opens up multiple potential avenues for the team. Instead of being reactive — as we’ve seen with much of the post-launch changes and improvements to FM7 — this more collaborative approach allows the Turn 10 team to get a better idea of what the community wants before launch. It also potentially gives sim racers a chance to make their voices heard at the ground floor, in much the same way we’ve seen from examples like Assetto Corsa Competizione and the 2017 GT Sport beta.
Greenawalt and crew invited players to join the new official Forza Discord to get involved in the discussion. You can do that through this invite link.
“I don’t know how this is going to go,” wrapped up Greenawalt, “all I know is that we’re going to take this journey together.”